A Note on the Drivers of R&D Intensity

Azèle Mathieu, Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie


This research note evaluates the extent to which national industrial structure affects country rankings based on aggregate R&D intensity. The econometric analysis performed on a cross-country cross-industry panel dataset (21 industrial sectors, 18 countries, and 5 years) suggests that accounting for industrial structure substantially affects the traditional country rankings. Sweden, the USA, France and Japan have an ‘above-than-average’ R&D intensity in most industries, whereas the high level of aggregate R&D intensity in South Korea and Finland, for instance, is essentially due to the importance of R&D-intensive industries in their economy (telecom and computers), and not to a macroeconomic environment particularly favourable to R&D. The US, Japanese and Swedish ‘exceptions’ might result from higher ‘expected’ returns to R&D in these countries.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/rwe.v1n1p56

Research in World Economy
ISSN 1923-3981(Print)ISSN 1923-399X(Online)


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